ATENEO coach Tab Baldwin felt Thirdy Ravena should've drawn a foul from Kib Montalbo in the crucial play that led to Jeron Teng scoring the go-ahead basket for La Salle in the 67-65 victory in Game One of the UAAP men’s basketball Finals on Saturday.
After taking only their second lead of the game courtesy of a Matt Nieto jumper with 34.6 seconds left, the Blue Eagles gained a chance to add to their margin after getting the rebound following Nieto’s missed bonus free throw.
The ball ended up in the hands of Ravena, who drove, turned around, and rose for a jumper, before Montalbo swiped the leather away.
No foul was called in the play.
“I’m not very happy with the opportunity that Thirdy had. I think it was pretty clear that he was fouled,” Baldwin said after the game. “Thousands and thousands of people, millions around the country expect players to make big plays, while I expect referees to make correct calls, too.”
“And when they don’t, they need to be called out,” he added.
Baldwin said they already reviewed the video, but will double check to make sure.
“We’ll review it and we’ll see if they made the right call, but we already had a look at it and to me, it’s pretty clear,” Baldwin said. “Not to say he would’ve made it, but he would’ve made his free throws. He’s a good free-throw shooter.”
Teng's late heroics put to naught the efforts of an Ateneo side that erased a 15-point deficit before the Archers held on.
“We got off to a terrible start and La Salle got off to a great start with a lot of composure and they did things they wanted and we didn’t,” said the former Gilas Pilipinas coach.
“We were very rattled in the beginning I think by La Salle and maybe by the occasion, too. Then we settled down and played good basketball for three quarters, came back, made a fight out of it.”